The Bookish Babies 2014

2014Last year I decided to keep the Bookish Babies to a yearly post for the time being, as more posts per year would only get repetitive. So a year after The recap Babies 2013, here’s the update for 2014. They’re still growing like weeds and doing very well. They’ve both changed loads in the course of a year, unsurprisingly of course, yet they still manage to surprise me with the things they’ve learned and the funny things they say and do.   Read More …

The Bookish Babies 2013

2013This year I failed miserably in my plan to talk about my girls every season or so. Truth is there hasn’t been that much to tell really, as I felt it would be boring for everyone if I just said they’re growing like weeds and still loving story time every three months or so. But as it’s been a year, now I can brag a bit and show them off. And I want to talk a bit about an unexpected effect being a mum to two girls has had on my reading.  Read More …

The Bookish Babies 2012

20122012 was an eventful year for Casa Fantastical Librarian as we went from one Bookish Baby to two Bookish Babies. Our Cat was born on March 8th and life hasn’t been the same since. Of course, we’d never expected it to be, but it’s a fun ride in any case. It’s been fantastic to watch the girls interact and see how much they love each other. Emma is super caring and always wants to help out, giving Cat toys, her pacifier, reading to her, making her laugh and cuddling—even if Cat really rather wouldn’t!

Emma is growing and developing at an amazing pace. I’ve written before about how she was already recognising letters left and right and she’s only been getting better at it. She can recognise the entire alphabet now and all numbers, count to twenty (with only a little coaching once she reaches sixteen) and she knows a couple of her books by heart. The latter is pretty cute, as she’ll pull out the book and start reading it to herself or Cat and say it exactly right, only sometimes she’ll have the book upside down. She’s also talking up a storm and sometimes she’ll say something so world-wise, she’ll just melt my heart.

She’s also discovered the magic of animated films. At the moment she’s completely enchanted with Despicable Me, though she also loves Howl’s Moving Castle, The Lion King and Horton Hears a Who. She’ll be surprisingly attentive for quite a long time, though we usually watch them in several sittings as she’ll wander off after a while. She’ll also incorporate the stories into her play, when she’s playing with her dolls or her Duplo. It’s funny to hear what she focuses on from watch she sees or what we read to her. She also loves playing games and making puzzles. The latter she mainly does on the iPad, though she also has several real puzzles. She’s up to 25-piece puzzles at the moment. Her favourite board game right now is a Disney Princess game (yes I know, pink, princesses, not very feminist, but what can you do she loves them) where you wave a wand around and it tells you how many steps you’re allowed to take. She adores it and it’s like she thinks it’s really a magic wand. Cat also enjoys watching us play the game as the sparkly, flickering wand fascinates her.

Cat meanwhile is standing and walking round the edges of the sofa, the coffee table, and the bookshelves. She’s also trying to walk by pushing around the laundry basket or her high chair. She still loves listening to us reading to Emma, though she doesn’t have the patience to sit still for a story of her own yet. We’ll have to wait a while for that yet, as Emma didn’t really sit still to be read to until she was around eighteen months either. Her favourite toy is Emma’s Duplo. Banging it so it makes noise, riding the cars around, or chewing the animals, or just playing with the blocks, she can do it for a long time for such a small child. This makes me happy as it means I have my hands free to do chores, blog, or read. She’s also starting to talk, though so far she only says papa, mama and sometimes something that resembles Emma. It’s a start though, and as a bonus it’s really cute as well.

Emma, me, and Cat wishing you a fabulous 2013!

Emma, me, and Cat wishing you a fabulous 2013!

So that’s the sum up of our sproglets at the end of this year. I’m looking forward to watching them grow in the next year and seeing their personalities develop and become more distinct, though Emma has oodles of it already. I’ll try and do an update on them every season or so, so if you enjoy these little glimpses of the girls, stay tuned!

The Bookish Babies is a returning feature, in which I write about my daughters Emma and Cat and our journey to make them love books as much as their father and I do. Find earlier instalments of this series here.

The Bookish Babies Autumn 2012 Edition

Jordan or Sykes? I can’t choose!

The last Bookish Babies update was about four months ago, so I thought I’d post a new one, as they’re at an age where everything changes really fast. Cat’s already crawling and even starting to try and sit up on her knees. Of course this also means that the books are no longer safe, as you can see on the picture above, she’s trying to get at them as best she can. Sometimes she even succeeds! She’s getting really grabby with them, both from the bookcase and from our hands. If she’s sitting on my lap and I’m reading, she’ll try to get a hold of my book and eat it or just play with the pages. But she still loves being read to. At night, when we’re reading to Emma, she’ll listen too with this really serious, concentrated look on her face, which is really cute. She also babbling a lot, mostly ba-ba-ba-ba but she’ll try and copy the sounds you make as well, which leads to some hilarity if you’re reading to her and she’s in a talkative mood.

It wasn’t me! I didn’t touch no books!

Emma meanwhile is turning into a total little bookworm. She’s spotting letters everywhere, at home, in the store, in the car, it doesn’t matter. She’ll suddenly pipe up and say ‘E for Emma!’ or ‘M for mama!’ or ‘Look, mama! A ‘Z’!’. She also likes to (pretend to) read, whenever she gets the chance. In the picture she’s reading the rules booklet for dominos and telling us the story of Hansel and Gretel, at least that was what was in there according to her. She loves ‘reading’ to Cat, grabbing a book at random and sit next to her and tell her a story, sometimes recognisably something we read to her at bedtime, sometimes the plot of a Dora the Explorer/Team Umizoomi/Bubble Guppies* episode she’s seen on TV, and sometimes just something made up and nonsensical. It always makes Cat laugh though, so she can ‘read’ her whatever she likes! She also likes to nick my book and read to me, but since she’s not always very careful when handling them, I usually take them away from her.

‘And then the witch said…’

One of Emma’s favourite after-dinner games is spotting publisher logos on the back of books. She’s got about five different colours of Penguin identified, a dolphin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), a kangaroo (Pocket Books), a star (Gollancz), a Zeppelin (Baen, don’t ask me how she came up with that one, I’ve no clue) and she loves discovering new ones. She has favourites she likes to search out and then she’ll be off trying to find a new one. After we’ve played that game or a board game, it’s bedtime and we read her a bedtime story. Her favourites at the moment are the Dutch translations of A Bit Lost and Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton and The Umbrella by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert. These are all fun books. I love Haughton’s colourful, bold illustrations and The Umbrella is all illustrations, no words, so you can make up the story yourself and focus on different things each time you read it.

Emma at work.

Both girls love to play on our keyboards, physical or virtual, as well. Cat has grabby hands of Doom when it comes to my iPad or the keyboards of either of our computers. Emma, on the other hand, has gotten past the grabby stage and now really wants to type. She’ll sit down and say ‘Mama, I want to write.’ She can even already write out names if you help her spell. She’ll find all the letters, she just doesn’t know how to spell yet and at times she has opinions about how a word should be spelled. Cat often ends up Cap, for example. When Wiebe brought the girls to come pick me up from work, Emma even decided that she’d work for a bit, just like mum.

So the girls are thriving and are headed for geekiness at remarkable speed!

*Currently her favourite TV shows.
The Bookish Babies is a returning feature, in which I write about my daughters Emma and Cat and our journey to make them love books as much as their father and I do. Find earlier instalments of this series here.

The Bookish Babies Spring 2012 Edition

The Bookish Baby has been the Bookish Babies for a little over two months now and life at Casa Fantastical Librarian has been settling into its new two-kid routine slowly, but surely. Emma adores being a big sister and wants to help us taking care of Cat as much as she can. She tries to give Cat her pacifier when she loses it, she brings her baby toys and, as can be seen above, she likes to read her books. It’s actually kind of funny to hear her repeat things we’ve read to her or hear her point out stuff in her picture books.

Emma is digging picture books at the moment. She won’t let us read from her fairytale books or her Jip en Janneke book, she wants her Richard Scarry Best Word Book Ever, which she has in both Dutch and English or the Swedish picture book she got from her aunt. And she can be pretty insistent about it. We read to her every night before bed and she starts deciding which one she wants to read while we’re still brushing her teeth. If we pick the wrong book she’ll keep saying ‘No, no, the other one.’ until we get the right one. It’s fun to see how much her vocabulary improves from looking at them every night and how many words she retains from night to night.

At the same time she’s learning to recognise letters and numbers and understanding that these make up words. She’s got a game on the iPad called Lola’s Alphabet Train, which she can play in Dutch and it’s amazing how fast she’s picking it up. She’s already finishing the easy level on her own, though the medium level is too hard for her as yet. Every time I see her do stuff like this, I’m just flabbergasted. It makes reading anything myself hard though, as she insists on sitting on my lap and pointing out letters on my page.

So our little geek girl is well on her way to literacy and loving being read to or reading to Cat. Cat in the meantime is fine with everything, as long as she’s near one of us. If she’s fussy I’ll just read to her from whatever I’m reading at the moment and it works as well as it did for Emma, she’ll settle down and even fall asleep in no time.

To end with, here’s a little clip of Emma reading to Cat and me from Erikson’s The Bonehunters.

The Bookish Babies is a returning feature, in which I write about my daughters Emma and Cat and our journey to make them love books as much as their father and I do. Find earlier instalments of this series here.